Fewer than 50% of eligible Willowdale voters participate in elections.
Preliminary results from the 2014 provincial election show that 52.1% of eligible voters cast ballots. This is the first upward swing in voter participation in 20 years. In Willowdale the participation rate was 47.7%. Compared with 1990, voter participation is down from nearly 65% at that time.
During 2010 municipal elections the participation rate for Ward 23 – which encompasses most of the Yonge North Corridor – was 43.8%. Yonge-Sheppard Condominium News compared participation rates for polling stations located in Yonge North Corridor condo buildings and found that the participation rate was higher in these locations.
This higher participation rate for condo residents is important. It dispels the myth that condo residents are less engaged in their community and less likely to vote. It also signifies to those running for elected office in local ridings that condo residents, a majority of voters in the Yonge North Corridor and the riding, are now a constituency encompassing a majority of voters.
Voters who wisely use their votes to support candidates representing condo interests play a role in addressing local concerns. Equally important is monitoring how elected representatives act once in office. Voting elected representatives out of office when their effectiveness is inadequate or questionable is also an important part of the electoral process.